Emotional intelligence: what it is and why it can bring you success and happiness

Emotional intelligence: what it is and why it can bring you success and happiness. Emotional intelligence is the ability to create harmony between the “mind and heart”, i.e. to use emotions wisely. How we feel underpins almost all the most important decisions we make in our lives. In this article, we explain what emotional intelligence is and why it can make us happy.

The ability to recognise and name our emotions is fundamental to making sense of what is happening to us.


  • What is emotional intelligence?
  • Where does the concept of emotional intelligence come from?
  • Goleman’s scheme of emotional intelligence
  • What are the 5 characteristics of emotional intelligence?
  • The goals of emotional education

What is emotional intelligence?

What is emotional intelligence?

In practice, this means being aware that emotions can guide our behaviour and influence people, and knowing how to manage these emotions, both our own and others’. Before we can develop emotional intelligence, we need to have a good ability to mentalise, i.e. to perceive ourselves and others as mental states.

Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed in school and work, and effectively achieve your career and personal goals.

It can also help you connect with your feelings, turn intentions into actions, and make decisions about what really matters to you. Some research on emotional intelligence suggests that it can be developed and strengthened.

Where does the concept of emotional intelligence come from?

The concept of emotional intelligence was introduced by Professors Peter Sulloway and John D. Mayer, who first discussed it in 1990 in their article “Emotional Intelligence” in the journal Imagination, Cognition and Personality.

Both scientists provided an initial definition of emotional intelligence, understanding it as “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to distinguish between them, and to use this information to guide one’s thoughts and actions.”

Later, the importance of emotional intelligence was developed by science journalist and psychologist Daniel Goleman, who in 1995 published the book Emotional Intelligence: What It Is and Why It Can Make Us Happy, making the topic well known in the psychological and social spheres, as well as in the workplace.

Goleman’s scheme of emotional intelligence

According to Goleman, emotional intelligence consists of a number of skills that are fundamental to our well-being on both a personal and social level. Those who possess these skills are more likely to be able to establish better social relationships, make decisions in line with their motivations, and maintain a high level of self-esteem.

To explain what “emotional intelligence” is, Goleman has developed a framework of the five pillars that make it up, as well as a series of skills that can be developed and improved so that anyone can become more emotionally intelligent.

He defines emotional intelligence as: “the ability to motivate ourselves, to persevere in the pursuit of a goal despite frustration, to control impulses and delay gratification, to modulate our moods without letting suffering interfere with our thinking, empathy and hope.”

According to Goleman, the components of emotional intelligence are as follows:

According to Goleman, the components of emotional intelligence are as follows
  • knowledge of one’s own emotions (self-awareness), i.e. the ability to recognise an emotion when it arises;
  • control of emotions (self-regulation), i.e. the ability to manage feelings and emotions in a way that is appropriate;
  • Relationship management (social skills), i.e. skills that enhance leadership abilities and effectiveness in interpersonal relationships;
  • self-motivation, i.e. the ability to manage one’s emotions to achieve a goal;
  • Recognising the emotions of others (empathy), i.e. the ability to read the emotions of others and empathise with them, and this is the main difference between emotional intelligence and empathy.
Emotions have a destructive power that can prevent us from achieving our goals, for example, by paralysing our ability to act or make informed decisions. If managed properly, they can give us an advantage by helping us communicate effectively, be self-motivated and respond better to environmental stimuli.

The goals of emotional education

Emotional intelligence and psychology are closely related. Nurturing emotions is becoming necessary to avoid shipwreck in the consumerist logic of human relationships, where loneliness and psychological distress have increased dramatically, especially since the pandemic.

  • to guide subjects to self-awareness of their emotions;
  • to teach them how to manage negative emotions more effectively, not by suppressing them but by transforming them;
  • point to strategies for maintaining optimism and perseverance despite disappointment;
  • to develop the ability to empathise and care for others, to cooperate and establish social connections;
  • dealing with psychological distress, dispersion of individual resources, bullying and social risks.


Having emotional intelligence can help in a variety of contexts, from school and relationships to work – Dushevnyjlekar.com🧡

Mindfulness is a centuries-old practice that originated in the Buddhist tradition and was designed to alleviate suffering…

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